I have received another great cookbook for a review – Curing and Smoking Handbook by Steven Lamb.
This book is one of the great series of books that I am planning to read. The series is called “The River Cottage”.
My biggest attraction to this book is the fact that I can learn so much from it. Our great goal as a family is to run a homestead type household. We are working hard this year to make this dream come true.
Homesteading is a big deal. It requires a lot of effort, as well as a lot of skill to make it happen.
I grew up in a city. I have always lived in a city. My parents did have a tiny backyard with gardening, and my father used to grow tomatoes on our balcony, but that’s about as close to farming and food processing as I got.
We have never ever cured any meat in my family. I think the biggest issue was the lack of skill, as well as the lack of proper equipment, area for smoking food, and lack of need to do this. Back in Russia where I grew up smoked and cured meats were always readily available for purchase, but a lot of the time people would hot smoke and cold smoke fish, but not for sale. You would be lucky to try it at people’s homes, birthdays, and weddings – that’s about it. Not all the types of smoked food was available to be sold, and the fish that I used to have in some of my friends’ homes was out of the world. Even back then, as I was very young, I didn’t use to cook much by myself, I would ask how the fish was prepared, and my friends would always tell me that their father had this contraption for smoking that he built, and you would need that contraption to do it, so that’s where the conversation would usually end on the curing and smoking subject.
Now that we are thinking about farming and homesteading, we need to learn these skills, because it will not be very useful to just run to the nearest charcuterie and waste your own pig. When we get these animals, we are going to want to be able to process them properly ourselves, and prepare smoked meats on our own. There should not be a need to purchase meats on the side.
So, this is where this book by Steven Lamb titled “Curing and Smoking Handbook” will become very useful. The author teaches you exactly what you need for smoking, whether it is hot or cold smoking process. He explains what equipment you need, how you want to make your own smokers, and how to prepare your chosen proteins. There are recipes for just about every possible product you might want to try to smoke. The book itself, and the recipes given are very modern, so that’s another great advantage of this book. There aren’t that many recipes, but everything is explained so well, and basically the book mostly teaches you the techniques, rather than specific instructions for specific dishes. Once you learn the techniques, you can change recipes up here and there. I usually end up doing that based on what I have on hand. I change up recipes, however keeping the main ratios intact – that’s the important part.
The photos in the book are amazing photography. Really great pictures showcasing proteins in the best possible lighting, and color. Just looking at the pictures makes you believe that the products, recipes, and techniques used are solid in this book. I cannot wait to try the new skills on some produce I will get in the next few weeks. My husband will be using this book for making our own smokers as well. There are so many uses for this book – I think I may need to get another copy soon, as I tend to ruin my cookbooks when I use them too much.
The book retails for $22.00 or $15.55 on Amazon at the moment. If you are lacking the skills necessary for homesteading, and are thinking about reducing your food costs – I would get this book, and see if you can challenge yourself, and learn these new skills, and then try to implement them in your cooking.
You can read more about the author here –
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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